Coachella 2012 has come and gone. Glastonbury 2012 is being overshadowed by the London Summer Olympics, so the British music festival won’t happen again until next year. Even so, in my mind I’ve always felt that the two festivals are rivals when it comes to the show-goers’ fashion.
Fashion week street style always shows how the industry’s representatives dress in their native habitats (except those lucky ducks that get to travel the world for fashion month). I love it, but music festivals have a certain charm that other street style photographer-infested times of the year can’t match. There are no guidelines. During fashion week, you can’t look like a slob. You can’t walk into the tents at Lincoln Center in mud-splattered wellies, denim cut-offs and flowers in your hair. They’ll think you’re a hippie hobo that’s been sleeping at a farm. You can go to Glastonbury dressed like that, though. You can wear a blanket as a poncho, a neon bra and a floppy hat and not judged one bit (not openly, at least). Whereas fashion week is quite exclusive, Coachella and Glastonbury are open to anyone who loves music and can get a ticket. Therefore the clothing itself is much more laid-back and freeing, and of course summery. It can get pretty darn hot in Californ-I-A, even in April. So I’ve heard. I’m still fuming about missing the Arctic Monkeys, Fleet Foxes and Childish Gambino concerts. Let’s just not talk about it.
Coachella’s fashion is very typically Californian. No matter who’s going and how they usually dress, they always tweak a few things in their wardrobe to fit into the easy breezy effortless rocker chick hippie-dippy vibe. That’s quite a long epithet, but I figured it was okay because it’s all-encompassing. Here’s an example of what I was explaining before: Leandra Medine. We all know her as the Man Repeller, yes? There’s not really one classification that her style fits into, per se, but I would definitely not label her as a free spirit, if you know what I’m sayin’. No sir-ee. As soon as she arrives at Coachella, we see her wearing fringe and flower crowns. I guess the fringe is not so abnormal, but even so. This isn’t a criticism but merely an observation. There’s a sense of nonconformist conformity at Coachella—everyone tries very hard to dress extremely wacko (Leandra’s caption for the fringy Instagram photo was: “Think I look particularly crazy today.” Case in point.) but they all end up looking quite similar as a result. Let’s also talk about Hanne Gaby Odiele: she usually looks really put-together. Stick her in Palm Springs at a music festival? The clothing becomes cropped and ripped and the face paint comes out. (Pictured above.) Maybe the hot sun is getting to her. Reoccurring raiments: fringed items, cut-off denim shorts, floral motifs, floppy hats, leather boots.
England is just kind of a kooky place. Not that I’ve ever been, but I do know quite a few British people, and from what I’ve heard (plus Ricky Gervais), the whole country is just a little off, in a good way. Like the IFC channel. That’s definitely conveyed in its music festival’s street style. Unlike Coachella, there’s not a uniform. Everyone wears whatever they want and it totally works. As long as there’s some layering going on or at least a few different components involved, you’re good. No one can go to Glastonbury in denim shorts and a band t-shirt and expect to get away with it. Go crazy or go home, I think. Just look at Cara Delevigne’s outfit from last year’s concerts, or the girl with the shearling vest, scarf print skirt and floral headpiece. Without even seeing the picture you know that it’s super intense and awesome (both girls pictured above). Even Alexa Chung keeps it classy with a white button-up blouse. No one can get too fancy, though, because there’s so much mud everywhere that they’re bound to get something dirty. That’s why everyone must wear hefty rubber boots to protect themselves from the muck. Reoccurring raiments: wellies, anoraks or other jackets, layered garments.
THE VERDICT Coachella stays true to its California roots. No matter who they are, everyone dresses up for the occasion. In most peoples’ cases, though, that really means dressing down to the bare minimum: short-shorts and loose shirts. Glastonbury is a little bit of everything. The street style is as cray-cray as the show-goers, which is always a plus. Everyone’s style is extremely original, but the one thing you’re bound to see on the majority are rubber boots—that place is pure nast.
Which style do you like better—Coachella or Glastonbury? Let me know in the comments section or tweet us at @everybodyisugly. Let the social networking discussion fun commence.